It is with sadness that we learned of the news about the passing of Ruth Coleman (75) during the summer. Her political engagement and commitment to European policies were both known and greatly appreciated by colleagues in the European Committee of the Regions and in the ALDE Party.
Coleman, a teacher, was a committed internationalist. Over her long career – over 50 years of liberal commitments, starting all the way back in the Young Liberals in 1966 – she worked at all three levels of government: local, national and European. From her experience at the local level as Councillor of Chippenham on the North Wiltshire District Council for 16 years and as leader of the Council for 12 years she helped enrich debates in the European Committee of the Regions, bringing issues on the ground to the knowledge of EU authorities while looking for solutions.
She was very active in the ALDE group and at ALDE Party congresses, where she worked extensively on foreign and constitutional affairs. She was also a vocal member of the committee that prepared the accession of Cyprus as a then new member state to the EU. In the European Committee of the Regions she worked on the right to family reunification, for more for more accessible, equitable and managed asylum systems and on establishing pre-accession assistance, also reflecting her European focus for fairness, integration and her commitment as a feminist.
On behalf of our Renew Europe group in the European Committee of the Regions, its members and staff, we would like to offer her family and the Liberal Democrats as a whole our deepest condolences during this difficult time.